Two local Indigenous young people have undertaken school-based traineeships with Southern Downs Regional Council under the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathway program (IYCP).
Through the IYCP, Council is helping to develop and support the ability of local Indigenous students to transition effectively from school to employment.
Warwick State High School students Brett Lister-Petersen, Year 11, and Katelyn Koina, Year 10, recently started their traineeships, spending one full day each week working with Council.
The trainees will each complete a Certificate III in Business Administration, covering all introductory elements of office work such as scheduling, production of documents using technology, accounts, customer service, and safety.
Since starting her traineeship, Miss Koina said she has learnt so many things already.
“I’m really enjoying my time working with the Engineering Department, and get to work on many different tasks – I’m doing work with Council’s mapping system at the moment, and that’s really interesting.
“The staff are really lovely and I would like to say a big thank you to my supervisor Barbara Fagan, she’s always there ready to help me when I need her.”
Ms Fagan, Personal Assistant to Council’s Director of Engineering, said that the traineeship is a very worthwhile activity.
“It gives young people valuable experience in the workforce while they’re still studying at school.
“I’m very impressed with Katelyn. She shows great enthusiasm and picks up things very quickly.”
Speaking about his experience of the traineeship so far, Mr Lister-Petersen said he’s already developed a variety of skills.
“I’ve been editing and making application forms and flyers, I’ve learnt how to bind documents and use other office equipment; I’ve also been answering phone calls and taking messages, and taking notes at meetings.
“The things I enjoy the most about working with the Council are being a part of the Council team, and helping out others with tasks and jobs; I’m also really enjoying working with my supervisor Hailey Cosh.”
Youth Development Officer Hailey Cosh said Lister-Petersen’s contribution is valued.
“Brett has been a great addition to Council’s Community Services team; he’s extremely hard working and shows such commitment and skill in everything he does.”
The trainees will each rotate through two six-month placements with Council’s Engineering Services and Community Services Departments.
As part of the program, the students are provided personal mentoring and case management through Mission Australia, to help them manage issues that make the move from school to work difficult, and to help them successfully complete the program.